The ‘almond snake’ a very popular dessert in Morocco and not only. A true work of art topped with honey, cinnamon and fried almonds.
1 kilo raw almonds
1⁄2 a kilo filo pastry (circular sheets are preferred)
250 grams sugar
250 grams butter
150 grams powdered sugar
A few drops of orange flower essence
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄8 teaspoon gum Arabic
Just a pinch of nutmeg
Vegetable oil, for frying
Blanch the almonds and fry in vegetable oil until golden brown. Set on a paper towel to drain out any excess oil. Set aside a handful of fried almonds in a small bowl before finely grinding the rest of them in batches with 1 teaspoon of sugar. Add another teaspoon of sugar with each small batch of almonds that you grind. Meanwhile, melt the butter and slowly pour it into the bowl with the sugared almonds and the rest of the ingredients (besides the egg). You only need to add enough butter to combine the mixture, and may not end up using the full amount stated above.
Cut all of the filo pastry in half so you end up with 2 half circles of layered dough. Lay an individual semi-circular sheet flat on a long counter. Lay another sheet on top so it covers half of the first one. You will end up with a long line of pastry sheets. Drop spoonfuls of the almond filling onto the straight edge of the pastry sheet, all the way down, and then begin slowly rolling it all up into a large cylinder. Then, roll the cylinder around itself so it forms a spiral. Beat the egg in a small bowl and brush the top of the m’hencha with the egg wash. Sprinkle any leftover butter on top of the m’hencha.
Bake in a 180o C (350o F) oven for 10-15 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Once finished, drizzle with mountain honey and sprinkle with cinnamon and the extra fried almonds.